Melbourne councils composting food and organic waste to reduce landfill

Eight Melbourne councils are set to reduce the amount of food and organic waste they send to landfill, thanks to a new composting facility.

The councils include Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash.

The composting facility will recycle approximately 120,000 tonnes of food and organic waste per year and produce 50,000 tonnes of high-grade compost for the municipalities’ gardens and parks.

The Federal Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is committing up to $38 million to the $65 million South Eastern Organics Processing Facility.

“While avoiding the generation of waste is our first priority, we also need to harness opportunities for reuse, recycling, reprocessing and energy recovery,” Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

“Converting waste to compost can play a part in Australia’s long-term waste solutions.

“This facility alone, which will be the most advanced of its type in Victoria, can process around 12,000 truckloads of waste per year.

“It means food and organic waste produced by south east Melbourne residents will not end up in landfill and will instead produce high-grade compost for our gardens and parks.”

By reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, the facility is expected to abate more than 65,000 tonnes of CO2-e emissions per year – the equivalent of removing almost 14,000 cars from the road per year.

ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin, said in this ABC The World Today report that there are startup costs involved with getting this type of facility up and running, but that over time it could lead to savings for councils that they could consider refocusing elsewhere.

“Dealing with waste is not a cheap exercise no matter what you do with it. You have cheap upfront costs by putting in a landfill but very long-term costs in managing the outputs including gasses from that landfill over time,” he said.

The facility is under construction and expected to be operational in mid-2019.